There is a special kind of female athlete who is so dedicated that her sport becomes her life. Because research shows that girls and women are prone to higher rates of injuries and other health complications, these female athletes require a level of dedication not only to their sports, but also to their long-term health. And by pairing the two, they prevail.
For Krista Pinciaro, soccer player at Medfield High School, dedication to the sport came naturally. But when she tore her medial meniscus and re-tore her lateral meniscus (after tearing both her meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) years before), she knew her senior-year soccer season was at stake.
“It was one of the worst days of my life,” says Krista. “Soccer isn’t just a sport to me, it’s my everything. It made me feel like I belonged to something, and it made me succeed academically because I knew I had to in order to keep playing. My teammates and my coaches were all like members of my family. Not playing was devastating for me.” …
The media’s attention has been captured by recent incidents of violence in girls’ and women’s sports, including a bench clearing brawl during a high school soccer game in Providence, and the suspension of New Mexico Lobos soccer player Elizabeth Lambert for unsportsmanlike conduct. David Mooney, MD, MPH, director of the Trauma Program at Children’s Hospital Boston and girls soccer coach, addresses issues raised by this recent media coverage.
Passion for the game is one of the central tenets of sports. Without passion, you might as well just watch the highlight tape.
Soccer is one of many physical contact sports. Having played organized soccer for more than 30 years and coached for a dozen, I have seen, and been involved with, lots of physical contact on the field. I have coached kids who have shown no passion and those who have shown too much. I’ve seen players suffer minor injuries from opposing teams’ “dirty players” and there have been times I’ve had to remove one of my players from the match to allow their passion to fall back into control.
Many athletes think they’ll never make it to the big league unless they’re willing to play hard and take a few knocks on the field. But does playing hard mean that they should play hurt—especially if they’ve had a blow to the head?
At every level of competitive sports, coaches, athletes and parents are rethinking when it’s appropriate for athletes return to the game. As Children’s Hospital Boston’s William Meehan, MD, director of the Sports Concussion Clinic in the Division of Sports Medicine, writes in an article for The MetroWest Daily News, the days of an athlete having his bell rung and then jumping back int to the game are gone. Read his story here and tell us what you think.